Are Colleges in the Northeast Prepared for the New Demographic Reality?
by Optimization with an Impact (OpIm)
The national picture described above is not great, but it masks important regional trends. In the South, the most populous region in the country, the number of high school graduates in 2027-2028 is projected to be 8 percent larger than it was in 2008-2009. This situation is much more dire for the Northeast, which the report defines as Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. In this region, the number of high-school graduates is expected to decline by 10 percent between 2009 and 2028. This means approximately 65,000 fewer students will be coming through the educational pipeline and moving into higher education, equating to a decline of 77 students per postsecondary institution in the region. (There are 869 postsecondary institutions in the Northeast.) Many higher-education institutions are bound to lose enrollments unless more significant attention is paid to nontraditional students or recruiting students from outside of the region.